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Making eBay's Traffic Your Own
Now every website owner knows that the last thing you want to do is drive traffic away. You work very hard to get traffic to your website, why are you then going to drive them away? eBay is no different, which is why they have the no-linking policy which prevents you from adding off-eBay links to your auction listings.
The main problem eBay had with sellers linking off eBay is that it meant fewer people were buying items on eBay, thus resulting in fewer successful auctions (or auctions that ended with lower prices) and they weren't able to collect the final value fees on these auctions.
There is one exception to this rule, and that is your "About Me" page. Your "About Me" page is the one place where eBay allows you to link to any external website, even your own commercial webstore!
I talk more about the advantages of linking to your website in the last section of chapter 2: It's All About Me.
There are still other excellent methods of "mining" traffic from your auction and other listings. Just remember though, if you want to remain on eBay's "good side", then it's probably a good idea to not go around violating their policies.
So the question remains: How do we use eBay as a source of cheap and easy traffic? The solution is really quite simple. There are actually a couple of fixes for this.
The first is to simply link to a page off eBay that doesn't sell anything. If you're linking from an auction page, then link to a page on your own site that describes the item you're selling further, but doesn't actually offer it for sale.
On that page, place a link to your webstore, or other commercial site. Keep the link relatively inconspicuous though. You don't want to say something like, "Buy this item right now at my webstore!" Although that's technically within eBay's policy, you don't want to bend the rules too much. It's better to try and stay off of the radar.
Rather, just add a link that reads something like, "Visit my webstore for more great deals!"
Another method is to capture the contact information of as many people as you can. The best way to do this is to insert a subscription box for your newsletter (often called an "eZine" because the newsletter is distributed electronically via email as a kind of electronic magazine) into all your auction listings.
"But Stuart, I don't have a newsletter!" No sweat. Starting a newsletter is easier than you think, and an absolute necessity for anyone that is serious about doing business on the internet.
The reason it's so important to have a newsletter is because it provides you with a connection to your customers and allows you to keep in touch with them. This way, through repeated contact, you can keep yourself and your company on the minds of your customers.
The easiest way to start and manage a newsletter is to subscribe to a third-party management service. One of the most popular is AWeber.
AWeber, along with most other services, will not only allow you to easily keep in touch with your customers, but will also allow you to send an automated welcome email when they first sign up. You can also program the service to send multiple emails over a period of time. This is your chance to let your customer get to know you and, of course, your company.
Be sure to always link to your website and promote your off-eBay store. The idea is to create customers off eBay. By driving your customer to your own website, you won't have to worry about dealing with all the competition on eBay, you won't need to worry about paying eBay fees, and people are almost always willing to pay more for items through a webstore than they will for the same item on eBay.
If you choose to start up a newsletter, you want to make sure that you stay in contact with your customers at least once per month. In my experience, the optimum contact interval is twice monthly. There are a couple reasons for this.
Keeping your company in the minds of your customers is the first and most obvious reason for such regular contact.
The second reason involves spam. Being accused of spam can be the death of any small internet company. While services such as GetResponse comply with all spam laws, it's up to you to make sure your customers don't end up reporting you for spam to their ISP (Internet Service Provider). Too many spam reports can get you blocked completely by angry ISP's, in which case you will find yourself completely unable to stay in communication with a large number of your customers.
If you contact your customers too much, they may get tired of you and start viewing your communications as spam. Contact them too little, and they may forget who you are and confuse you for a spammer.
And even if you don't have a webstore, newsletters are a great way to create repeat customers on eBay. One possibility is to start running special promotions, exclusive eBay auctions just for your newsletter subscribers. Or by linking to specific auctions, you effectively take out competing sellers because now your subscribers will go straight to your auction rather than running an eBay search, which would allow them to view the auctions of your competition.
Making eBay's Traffic Your Own
Chapter 8 Summary & Takeaways
Jump to another chapter:
Chapter 1: Driving Traffic to Your Auction Listing
Chapter 2: Listing for Higher Profits
Chapter 3: Does Any of this Stuff Work?
Chapter 4: eBay Stores
Chapter 5: Auction Management
Chapter 6: What to Sell on eBay
Chapter 7: Finding Products to Sell on eBay
Chapter 8: Mining eBay's Traffic
Chapter 9: HTML Tutorial
Chapter 10: Acting Like a PowerSeller
Chapter 11: Final Words
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